I learned about fact families. For those who don't know, “Fact families are 3 numbers that are related, just as the people in a family are related.” (thanks, mathcats.com) I didn't know that's what these numbers were called—it sounds so friendly, so cosy. You want to snuggle up with them at night and watch t.v. on the couch together.
I learned about rules for identifying Prime numbers and Composites. I knew about prime numbers but I never knew the alternative was a “Composite.” Names like that sound so Official. They remind me of all those grammar terms we're supposed to know, but can never remember. (Or is that just me?)
I learned that we have 23 pairs of chromosomes in our dna. I think I was taught that once but like many schooled things, it didn't stick. I learned that if you show an animation about single-nucleotide polymorphism to your kids, they actually want to watch.
I learned that carmine (a red pigment) is made of bugs. We can't ever paint with it, says my son, because we are vegetarian.
I learned that if you go to a Paper Plane Academy workshop in the city with your kids, they will need to run their own academy the next day, teach you to make a plane or planes and fly them through the house all morning.
I learned about lines of action in art. You can picture the line going through a figure, say, in a painting; if it's angled or curved—it shows movement. Vertical or horizontal—stillness. I learned that if your kids learn about lines of action in art they will get an irrepressible urge to draw and draw and draw.
I learned how much joy you can give your kids by being delighted in what delights them.
I learned that if you take your girl out of school because she is miserable and afraid and love her to pieces and let her be as close as she needs for as long as she needs, one day, on this day in fact, you'll see her running around with kids she doesn't know, much older than her, playing soccer before her brother's band practice.
I learned that making cookies with brown sugar is better than with white. And to flatten them before putting them in the oven. And to eat them warm. With milk. I may not have learned the warm and the milk part today, but each time I take the first bite, go get the milk, take the first ice-cold sip, I feel as delighted as if it's my first time.
I learned that it's lovely to share—the cookies, the icecold milk, the warmth, the learning—with your two happy kids. All of us discovering together.
All of us delighted.